Place du General de Gaulle - Grande Place, Lille
Place du General de Gaulle or the Grand' Place is Lille's main square.
It is mostly pedestrianised, surrounded by grand buildings and the cities main meeting place.
In the centre of the square is a fountain and around this is the column of Deesse, the goddess and a symbol of the city, which commemorates the bravery of the locals during the siege of Lille back in 1792.
Come to the square to admire the grandeur of Lille.
This square, also called La Grande Place, is the heart of Lille. It's a big square, almost entirely car free, surrounded by the typical houses that can be found all around old Lille. In the middle of the square stands the statue of La Colonne de la Déesse (pillar of Goddess). The statue commemorates the siege of Lille by the Austrians in 1792, after the Revolution. Other important buildings here are the Vieille Bourse and Voix du Nord building.
La Voix du Nord is a regional newspaper published in Lille and distributed throughout the North of France. It began as a clandestine newspaper published in hiding during the Second World War to protest the German occupation of France.
Voix du Nord was also the name of the secret Resistance movement in this part of France.
After the war, La Voix du Nord became an official (openly published) regional newspaper that was edited in this building on the Grand’Place. The building had previously belonged to a newspaper called Le Grand Écho du Nord, which was disbanded after the war because it had collaborated with Nazi occupation officials. The journalists of the old paper, however, went on working for the new paper, so there was a high degree of continuity that not everyone appreciated.
The building is from the early 20th century, but the façade has stepped gables to give it the silhouette of a traditional Flemish building. The façade is decorated with 28 badges or coats of arms that represent cities of the region or more specifically the 28 local editions of the daily newspaper.
The ground floor of the building now houses a fnac store, where you can buy books, CDs, electronic equipment and show tickets.
Second and third photos: Two more views of the building, at different times of day.
Address: 8 place du Général de Gaulle, 59000 Lille
Directions: Location on Google Maps.
V’Lille bicycle station 12 : Opera (across from 8 Rue Anatole France).
Phone: 03 20 78 40 40
Next: Place Rihour
The Place du Général de Gaulle is shorty called Grand'Place, the market square of Lille. This place is the heart of Lille and is full of history with the old stock exchange, the theatre, beautiful Flemish facades, cafés and a big fountain in the middle. During summer, lots of people sit on the bench of the fountain to read, to watch people go by or simply to do nothing.
This very Flemish house on the Charles De Gaulle square is the headquarter the local newspaper "La voix du Nord". It also houses a big shopping center. The golden statues on top represent the 3 former provinces of the region : Artois, Flandres and Henegovia.
The official name of this square is the Place du Général-de-Gaulle, but most people still call it Grand’Place.
It is the traditional main square of Lille and is now largely car-free, with only one lane that is still open to motor traffic.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon in October the entire population of Lille seemed to be out in the square soaking up the last few rays of sunshine before the long soaking rain that was bound to (and did) begin the next morning.
Second photo: Grand’Place on a cloudy evening.
Third photo: One of these historic buildings – the one with the red banners – is the entrance to France’s largest bookshop, Le Furet du Nord. It looks small from the front, but spreads out the further back and up you go. I actually just went in to buy a pocket map of Lille, but ended up doing some extended browsing in their fantastic assortment of French books.
Fourth photo: In the center of this Grand’Place is this Column of the Goddess, which was set up in 1842 to commemorate the city’s resistance to an Austrian siege fifty years earlier, in 1795.
Fifth photo: The statue at the top of the column is called Déesse au boute-feu (The Firebrand Goddess) and is the work of a sculptor called Théophile Bra (1797-1863). The statue caused considerable amusement when it was new, because everyone in Lille recognized the face as that of the mayor’s wife – so we were told on a guided walking tour that I took while I was in Lille.
Location of Grand’Place on OpenStreetMap
Next: The Voice of the North
This Art Deco building on the Grand Place has a Flemish step gable with golden statues on top. They represent Artois, Flandres and Henegovia.
There is a big shopping center inside the building on the groundfloor.
You will not often see the Grand Place as empty as it was here on a Sunday morning. On other days it is the place where people meet and mingle; just walk across to get around this compact old city; enjoy the space and the architecture; take coffee, a beer or a full meal.
The Grand place of Lille is in the heart of the old city center.It's great to spend some time;watching people;have a look at the historical buildings.From here you have easy acces to all parts of the city.
The Grand Place, a highlight of the Lille and its Goddess with La Vieille Bourse (the old stock exchange building)
Right in the heart of the city is this impressive square. Its centre point is the column and is surrounded by some architectural gems such as the stock exchange (Bourse) and lots of cafes.